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McDonald's conditions are hazardous, workers claim

Members of a group fighting for $15 hourly wages have filed a series of complaints against McDonald's alleging work conditions at the fast food giant are hazardous.

The workers announced Monday they filed 28 health and safety complaints in 19 cities at both corporate and franchised locations. The complaints, filed with both federal and state safety and health authorities, took place during the past two weeks.


Fight for 15 campaigners protesting in a McDonald's restaurant in Massachusetts on December 4, 2014.
Reuters
Fight for 15 campaigners protesting in a McDonald's restaurant in Massachusetts on December 4, 2014.

The employees, who have suffered burn injuries, say under-staffing and pressure to cook food too quickly are the main causes of injury. They also claim many McDonald's restaurants lack basic first aid and protective gear for burn injuries.

McDonald's spokeswoman Heidi Barker Sa Shekhem wrote in an email the chain and its franchisees are committed to provided safe working conditions.

"We will review these allegations," she added. "It is important to note that these complaints are part of a larger strategy orchestrated by activists targeting our brand and designed to generate media coverage"

Some dangers cited in the complaints include floors that are greasy or wet, first-aid kits that are missing or empty and pressure to clean the fryer while its oil is hot.

In the complaints, workers say managers have told them to treat burns with condiments rather than burn cream.

As the largest restaurant chain in America, McDonald's has been a prominent target for groups hoping to get increased wages.

Fight for $15 is a group of fast-food workers who are seeking a $15 hourly wage and the right to form a union without retaliation. To generate press and coverage of their cause, they have organized several strikes at fast-food restaurants across the country.

"As this campaign has spread to cities across the country, it's become painfully clear that unsafe conditions go hand in hand with the industry's low wages," said said Kendall Fells, Organizing Director of the Fight for $15, in a release about the complaints.